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Goodyear to Close Texas Plant

The Tyler plant is one of 16 in the midst of a strike by the United Steelworkers union.

Goodyear Tire and Rubber

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said Monday that it will close a tire manufacturing plant in Tyler, Texas, as part of its plan to exit certain segments of the private-label tire business.

The move will result in the loss of 1,100 jobs, and it comes amid a union strike at 16 of the company's plants. The United Steelworkers union members went on strike Oct. 5 after failing to come to terms with the tire company on a new labor contract. Workers at the Tyler plant were among the strikers.

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In a press release Monday, the United Steelworkers said it believes the plant closure is "counter productive" and said the move will only make a settlement more difficult.

For its part, Goodyear said the plant closure will help it save $50 million annually. The Tyler plant mainly makes small-diameter passenger tires, a segment Goodyear said has been under pressure from low-cost imports.

"We must take the steps necessary to reduce our costs and improve our competitive position," said Jon Rich, president of North American tire, in a press release. "While this is an extremely difficult decision for everyone involved, it was required to help turn around our North American business."

The company said the closure will result in restructuring charges totaling $155 million to $165 million.

The plant closure is part of a larger plan by Goodyear to cut costs by more than $1 billion by 2008.